Everyone wants to have a strong core and a slim waistline but there are so many different strategies in how to do it. The best way to have a slim waistline is to eat right. But to build a strong core, the best way to do that is with compound movements. Aside from that, you only need a few core moves.
This quick but effective ab workout consists of only five core moves that when done right and consistently will perfectly tone your abdominals. You can add this workout to your cardio days on at the end of your strength routine.
Ab Workout #1: Russian Twist
One of the absolute best moves to whittle the waist, the Russian twist can be done on the ground, on a stability ball, with dumbbells, medicine balls, or anything else to add resistance. To do it right sit on the ground with your feet planted on the floor and create a “v” with your torso and legs. Make sure you keep your back straight and engage your abs as you bring your hands over and down to the floor at the side of your hips on the right, then over your stomach and then down to the floor on your left. Keep alternating your hands, weights, or ball from side to side for a total of 3 sets of 12 reps.
Extra challenge – Pick your feet up off the floor a few inches, keeping the “V” formation while you do your sets.
Ab Workout #2: Penguin Crunches
These will effectively work your obliques, or side abs. Lay on the floor with your feet planted on the ground, knees bent, back straight on the floor, arms at your side. Keeping your gaze to the ceiling, raise your head and shoulders up off the floor about a couple of inches. Reach your right fingers to touch the side of your right heel, not twisting your torso, but bending to the side. Return to start position and repeat with the left side. Do not allow your shoulders to touch the ground through the entire set. Do 3 sets of 12 reps.
Extra challenge – Instead of touching the outside of the heel, try touching the inside of your heels.
Ab Workout #3: Flutter Kicks
Deceptively easy, this move will begin to burn before you know it. Again, lay flat on your back and lay your hands down at your sides. Lift your feet up off the floor, using your abs to keep your back from lifting off the floor and creating a dip. It’s important to do this to protect your back. Kick your feet up and down alternating between the right and left. Your left leg should be raising as your right is coming down, in fluid alternating movements like you would while you were swimming. Set your timer for 30 seconds and keep this movement for this interval twice.
Extra challenge – The lower you keep your legs to the ground during the movement, the harder your abs will be working.
Ab Workout #4: V-Ups
This is a challenging move so don’t be disappointed if you can’t complete more than 10 or less at a time. Sit with your legs bent and your palms on the ground behind you facing your feet. Bend your elbows and pick your feet up off the ground. Simultaneously lower your torso and extend your legs out. Then bring both your torso up and your knees in toward your chest. Complete as many as you can in a set and repeat three times.
Extra challenge – This move is already challenging but if you really want to push yourself, try kicking your legs out the sides after you have extended them out, bring them back together and then bring your knees in to your chest.
Ab Workout #5: Full Body Crunch
To finish if off, the full body crunch is a move that uses your whole body. Lay on the ground with your arms overhead and your legs extended out. Lift your feet and fingers up towards the ceiling, getting in a crunch as you bring your fingers as close as you can to your toes. Return your legs to just about an inch from the ground as well as your arms and repeat for 3 sets of 10.
Extra challenge – When you reach the top, instead of bringing your right hand to your right toes and your left hand to your left toes, get in little twisting crunch by bringing your right hand to your left toes, then your left hand to your right toes.